By now most of you have heard about the severe water shortages in California, and the water usage restrictions that have gone into effect for homeowners in certain parts of that state.
By the way, that included not showing fireworks in certain areas over the 4th of July holiday.
In Texas, we’ve seen the devastation that can come from the opposite problem: flash floods from too much rainfall.
Whatever the underlying cause is, recent weather patterns are forcing property owners to take steps to manage changing water conditions in their neighborhoods.
And that’s changing the way houses look and feel.
I’m Ilyce Glink.
Here’s today’s daily update.
Home design and remodeling firm Houzz just released its 2015 Landscaping and Gardening Trends Survey, which surveyed sixteen hundred homeowners who either completed an outdoor project in the last year, are currently undertaking an outdoor project now, or who plan to start one in the next six months.
The results showed that homeowners are already starting to change their landscaping designs to cope with regular droughts or, on the other hand, floods.
In Texas, nearly half of homeowners surveyed said that flooding was a top challenge for their property.
And nationwide, flooding and drainage issues were by far the most common challenge addressed by urban, suburban and rural property owners alike.
Meanwhile, seven out of ten homeowners in California listed drought and water shortages as a top challenge for their landscape projects.
Drought and water shortages were also the second most frequently challenge behind flooding issues for urban and suburban properties nationwide.
For rural properties, the second most frequently cited concern was erosion.
So what are people doing to cope with these divergent water problems? In rural areas, about one quarter of all property upgrades included a rainwater harvesting system.
That number fell below 20 percent in urban areas, and below 15 percent in the suburbs.
And drought-resistant planting is a really hot trend.
Nationwide, 42 percent of newly-added plants were rated as drought-resistant, and more than half of all homeowners surveyed were either reducing or removing their lawns.
In California, the proportion of homeowners either reducing or removing their lawns reached 85 percent, just shy of half of all projects involve complete lawn removal.
It may not be the front yard of your dreams, and it will cost you some cash up front, but if you’re a Californian, tearing up your lawn and replacing it with drought-resistant plants seems to have quickly become the smart choice for a whole lot of homeowners.
And nationwide, we’re all learning to pay closer attention to how local water conditions affect what we do with our landscaping, not only how often we mow the lawn.
I’m Ilyce Glink.
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